WUFT PBS News

First Place Tastes Like Pizza

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To some, the idea of performers and percussionists dancing around bass drums covered in checkered tablecloths and throwing pizza in the air might seem absurd.

However, to Jeremy Lee and Unity Percussion, the idea was a ticket to the winner’s podium. On April 13, the indoor percussion group, made up of young adult performers from north central Florida, won first place at the annual Winter Guard International Worlds Competition.

Unity Percussion’s performance, “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant,” received a 96.15 out of 100 points, the highest score in the percussion division since it was included in A Class, the division Unity Percussion competes in, 19 years ago. The group traveled to Dayton, Ohio, for the six-minute performance.

Unity competed against 15 other groups hailing from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin and Illinois.

Inspired by a pizza-tossing competition a group member saw on TV, the performance featured a full-sized bar, an orange “brick” floor, and a rousing rendition of Dean Martin’s “That’s Amoré.” Unity Percussion director Lee suspects that the ingenuity of the performance made them an “undeniable” contender for first place.

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